Mamma Mia's on Damnerkasem Road isn't your typical Italian Restaurant with terracotta walls, vines (sometimes plastic) and murals of Italian villages. Abstract sculptures stand in the entrance and the theme is continued with abstract paintings on the walls, The pale yellow colour for the woodwork and walls works well with the vibrant art.
From the outside all you see is the small dining area behind the glass frontage and a few tables on the patio, but when you step inside, it's actually quite big.
We were there for a Valentines dinner and glad we'd booked. However, they're obviously used to being busy as we were seated quickly and efficiently. Mine host, Claudio, being ever present.
Nice touches are the water poured from a jug instead of the usual bottle delivery, small bowls of olives, tomato in garlic olive oil, and liver pate, accompanied by lightly toasted bread for appetisers.
There is an extensive menu to choose from. Starting with a selection of salads are available, with the warm seafood salad (190 baht) looking interesting. For the soups, the old favourite, Minestrone is there with the Pasta e Fagioli - a robust bean soup(160) a meal on its own.
The Antipasti portions are very generous. The couple on the next table had the Antipasto 'Mamma Mia' - salami, mozzarella,boiled eggs capers, and tomato - and the lady, who looked like she enjoyed her food, was struggling with the last morsel!.
My friend chose Spinacini novelli al burro - baby spinach, sauted in butter and sprinkled with parmesan cheese (120). Not like her to choose something healthy, I have to say, but she said it was delicious. I had the Misto di Salumi which is a combination of parma ham, salami and bologna, a huge platefull and worth every baht.
The good old stand-by pastas, Penne all' arrabiata and Spaghetti alla carbonara are there, with some interesting others. I decide on the Orecchiette brocoletti e gorgonzola -orecchhiette pasta with broccoli and gorgonzola sauce - (200) as it sounded different. Again the portion was more than adequate and had a real gorgonzola flavour.My friend chose the Tagliatelli ai funghi porcini - Tagliatelli with imported mushrooms. She reckoned it was one of the nicest she'd tasted.
The wine list is extensive ranging from a bottle of rosso Brunello di Montalcino d.o.g.c. at a hefty 4200 baht to a dry sparkling Gran Premoi Brut Spaumante at a very reasonable1050 baht. Since friend doesn't drink alcohol, I normally have a couple glasses of the house wine. I've found that, in most reputable Italian or French restaurants, is usually very acceptable. Mamma Mia's, Chardonnay del Veneto is no exception. It complimented the meal nicely.
There are twelve Pizzas to choose from and the lady on the next table, who had obviously recovered her appetite, was tucking into a large Calzone semplice - spinach with mozzarella and ricotta cheese - with relish. Between mouthfuls, she managed to tell me it was first class.
The main course had an interesting Petto d'anatra al marsala e pepe rosa - duck breast sautéed in Marsala wine and pink pepper sauce and a Saltinbocca alla romana - slices of veal wrapped in safe leaves and parma ham in Marsala wine. I look forward to one of these on our next visit.
We finished off a very enjoyable meal with a chocolate mousse and nuts cake. My friend described it as "to die for". I have to admit it was tasty. This was washed down with an Irish coffee and a glass of Amaretto.
So if you're looking for a good Italian meal with first class service and at a reasonable price, visit Mamma Mias, the name says it all.